Common sense isn’t common: safety nets and personal accountability

By JeffG

Recently I was reading about the government welfare initiative and how it has caused the degradation of black communities. Basically, the idea that was presented was that if it weren’t for welfare, black women would be less promiscuous and, in being less promiscuous, have less illegitimate children. The implication is that women are promiscuous because welfare provides a financial safety net, and that if it didn’t, the black family would be equated with the nuclear family (which never really existed in my opinion, but that’s another post).

If not for welfare, women would be more protective of, and make better decisions in regard to their right to reproduce. As a byproduct, they would choose better, more financially stable mates, and uplift the black community. Now, I’ve heard this argument before, and I disagree with it entirely.

Here’s my problem with this idea: The nature of a “safety-net” is that of a fail-safe, something to protect you from a worst case scenario. It does not absolve you of personal responsibility, nor personal accountability. Welfare is available for everyone to use. It is not just there to sabotage the black community, and it does not protect you from your own poor choices.

You are in control of and are responsible for your own actions. Having a safety net doesn’t negate this. I have a savings account, but I don’t tap into it unless necessity requires it. According to this sort of logic, I’d be better off without any savings at all. The safety net will lead to my financial downfall.

Poor decisions are a direct result of poor decision making. You must make your choices in life, and if they turn out poorly, it’s on you. When you make a good decision, do you thank the government? I don’t think so. So why blame it for providing welfare? Welfare is an option, not a requirement, and believe it or not, it has helped people. Regardless of whatever “safety net” a person relies on, remember: nothing can save you from yourself.

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